Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi at a news conference in Tripoli, Libya, April 2021
Hazem Ahmed / Reuters

Within the EU, Italy is often the source of headaches: fiscally unreliable, politically unstable, and in perpetual economic stagnation. Yet in the aftermath of a pandemic that has taken a significant economic toll virtually everywhere, forecasters expect the country’s GDP to grow by 4.5 percent in 2021 and by almost the same amount in 2022. Within the G-7, Italy’s expected performance is second only to that of the United Kingdom. Such an optimistic economic forecast would probably not have been possible without the 191 billion euros (between loans and grants) that Italy received to address the COVID-19 crisis—part of the largest

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